Sen. Nan Orrock Attends Dialogue with Afghan and Pakistani Women Parliamentarians

ATLANTA (October 23, 2012) – Sen. Nan Orrock (D- Atlanta) recently joined fellow women legislators and leaders from across the U.S. for a dialogue with women Parliamentarians from Afghanistan and Pakistan on Capitol Hill. Recent violence in Pakistan highlights the need for conversations between women leaders internationally.  The gathering helped strengthen an emerging coalition of global women political leaders committed to advancing peace through dialogue. The meeting was the first of what aims to be a series of conversations sponsored by the EastWest Institute’s (EWI) Parliamentarians Network for Conflict Prevention, Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND), and the Women Legislators’ Lobby (WiLL) – a program of WAND. The Honorable Dr. Donya Aziz of Pakistan’s Parliament and The Honorable Mrs. Shinkai Karokhail of Afghanistan’s Parliament attended the gathering. The significance of the program is underscored by the recent attempted assassination in Pakistan of ninth-grade female student and activist Malala Yousufzai, who has been a compelling advocate for the education of girls.

“I was struck by the courage and clarity of these leaders who understand that lasting peace is not possible without women at the policy tables,” said Sen. Orrock, president of WiLL. “Our fruitful talks with Dr. Aziz and Mrs. Karokhail reaffirm the value of women supporting each other around the globe. The horrific attack on Malala Yousufzai in Pakistan emphasizes the pressing need for women leaders to work together to craft peaceful solutions that fully include women and girls. As women leaders, we share a strong belief that our full participation is invaluable to shape policies that make the world a safer place for future generations. We are committed to continuing this dialogue and standing side-by-side in affirming the vital role of women’s leadership, both here and abroad.”

The meeting was geared toward empowering women leaders in conflict affected regions, and building the capacity of U.S. women legislators in security and foreign policy decision-making.

“Recognizing the critical need to ensure that women’s perspectives are represented in all matters of peace and security, our work to advance and empower women political leaders had heightened importance,” said Tanya Henderson, WAND public policy director. “As U.S. women lawmakers and women Parliamentarians from conflict affected regions such as Pakistan and Afghanistan engage in dialogue and build strong alliances, greater understanding and more sustainable solutions to preventing conflict and achieving peace will emerge.”

For Immediate Release:
October 23, 2012

For Information Contact:
Natalie Dale, Director
Kate Greer, Broadcast Specialist